tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 19, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
relieved to see president obama hammer the republicans over unemployment benefits? 93% of you said yes. 7% said no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schulze. chris matthews with "hardball" starts right now on the place for politics, msnbc. we'll see you back here tomorrow night. obama face the for jobless benefits. will it benefit his job? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in los angeles. leading off tonight, three months to go. when president obama today blasted republicans for refusing to extend unemployment benefits, you could practically hear democrats across the country saying, finally. the president said the same republicans who created this deficit and gave tax cuts to the wealthy won't help those out of work now. come november we may look back
and say this is the day that the midterm election campaign really began. plus the crisis in the gulf of mexico is not over yet, but the cap on the oil well is still holding. there are concerns that oil or gas may be seeping out beneath the seabed, but no oil has leaked into the gulf for four days. we'll check with our favorite expert tonight. here's my question of the day. do republicans have any ideas of about how to cut spending, or do they just want to demagogue the issue? if you saw "meet the press" yesterday, you saw neither cornyn or sessions could name a single dollar in budget cuts they would propose. what i want to know is, why do democrats let them get away from this bluffing? are they afraid to call the bluff? plus a "washington post" investigation found nearly nine years after the 9/11 attacks, the federal government's intelligence system has grown exponentially more than 1200 government organizations do intelligence work. 1200.
but is it making americans safer? that's my question to the "washington post" dana priest. she's coming here tonight. and finally sarah palin. creator of new words. palin put herself in the company of william shakespeare, who she says also creates new words. refudiate, that's her new word. is this refudiate gate or doings refudiate mean to restart a feud? check out the sideshow. we start with the president taking on the republicans over unemployment benefits. charlie cook of the cook political report is an nbc news political analyst. clarence paige is a columnist for the chicago tribune. thank you, charlie and thank you, clarence. let's go to charlie first. here's the president today and i want you to analyze this politically, why he decided to go so hard on the republicans this monday. here's the president. >> for a long time there's been a tradition under both democratic and republican presidents to offer relief to the unemployed. that was certainly the case under my predecessor when republican senators voted
several times to extend emergency unemployment benefits. i have to say, after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, the same people who didn't have any problems spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are now saying we shouldn't offer reef to middle class americans like jim or leslie or denise who really need help. >> charlie, just a few days ago it seems the president was saying washington is the problem. every time he left town, he would say i can't wait to get out of washington. that was the problem. now it's the republicans are the problem. he's going partisan. here it is mid-july. is this the way it's going to go, and why? >> i think it is. and i think part of it is the president -- i think this is kind of an extension of what robert gibbs started a week ago sunday on "meet the press." that okay, you're disappointed in us democrats, you're mad at us democrats. this isn't a free lunch. if you throw us out, you're putting republicans in.
and this is what they stand for or what they're opposing. so, i think it's a useful exercise for the president to try to draw some very clear contrasts with republicans to kind of move beyond the fact that people are disappointed and/or mad at democrats. but the other thing i think is that some of the president's personal politics is that as bright as he is, people see him as cerebral. they see him as aloof and he doesn't connect with people as much as say bill clinton did, on a personal level. and i think they've got to work at creating that connection, because in those remarks today, he really did talk about the pain, the anguish that a lot of these unemployed people are going through. i frankly think he needs to do more of that. >> let's go to clarence on that. here he is bringing three people out to his right there in the rose garden. their names are jim, leslie and denise. there they are. the three people coming out with him.
is charlie right? he's trying to say, i'm with the worker bees, the people out there who want to work. this other crowd the republicans are with the rich who want to keep the bush tax cuts for the very rich. >> >> that's right. he's borrowing a technique from certainly ronald reagan. he was certainly famous for putting a face on problems. in this case, he brings out real people who are suffering, real problems with trying to find a job. these are not slackers or shirkers as conservatives will argue that giving people unemployment benefits takes away their incentive to want to go out and look for a job. here are people looking for work, and they can't find it. he is siding with the people. while he tries to cast the republicans as siding with the supply side theorists, with big business, with people who don't care. so that's the theater here. that's the optics. and it's important now at a time when his approval ratings are low, but his personal approval is still high.
people still like him as a person, but his approval as far as job performance are down. but his numbers are still better than the republicans in congress and democrats in congress, too, for that matter. so that's the way he's drawing the line in the sand. >> you know, i wish conservatives would come to washington or any big city around 6:00 in the morning, guys and see who's waiting for the bus to go to work in the morning. the poor people. they're out there trying to get to work. any time an entry-level job opens, as i said at any hotel or any big business in any big city, the lines go around the block. people who say people don't want to work are lying. or at least they're refusing to see the facts. the poor people get up the earliest. they catch public transportation if they can find it and they go to work. and nine chances out of ten. and that's what's going on. that's why you have to think about what side are you on sometimes. here's the president. let's listen. >> over the past few weeks a majority of senators have tried, not once, not twice, but three
times to extend emergency relief on a temporary basis. each time a partisan minority in the senate has used maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much needed relief. these leaders in the senate are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job should talk to these folks. >> there's an old expression that the torre party is the stupid party. i don't think so. i think the republicans have calculated who are going to vote. the angry people are going to vote. the better off people are going to vote. that's who they're talking to here. go after deficits. blame it on the democrats. screw the working guy who is out of work. they figure that guy or woman isn't going to work for them. isn't going to vote for them this fall. is that their calculation? >> angry people are the people who voted in 2006. those angry people tended to be democrats. now the angry people tend to be republicans. but i think the way the
republican leadership is looking at this is voters, a lot of voters are really disappointed, angry with the president, angry at democrats. why should we throw him a lifeline and give him any successes? i think what the white house is now trying to say is okay, if that's the game you're going to play, let's put a cost on that. let's make you pay the price for opposing things like extending unemployment compensation or unemployment insurance. so i think what we're doing is we're looking at, you know, we are seeing some battle lines drawn in a way that we had not seen earlier in this election cycle. i think you're absolutely right. >> let's be brutal, clarence. is it a real calculation by the republicans that the better off people, the people above the economic average are saying i want to keep my tax cuts, i'm smart enough to vote republican if i want that goal. and i know a lot of pain out there. i'm not a compassionate conservative this year. it's every man and every woman for himself this time around. i don't want to pretend to be
compassionate this time. screw the people that are unemployed. i want my taxes cut and kept cut. >> i don't think they're quite caustic or sarcastic in their thinking. there's no question that their base feels like, this jobless benefits only help to keep people unemployed, keep them lazy. that's what i'm hearing in e-mails from tea party folks and other members of the republican base right now. the thing is though -- >> you're hearing from the happy people, clarence. >> i'm sorry. >> you're hearing from the happy people. >> happy people, right. they've got to get swing voters. that's where the real battle is for these seats that dras have that are vulnerable. republicans need to win swing voters. the swing voters, well, for them this is a choice election. is the person who is challenging the incumbent better than the
incumbent, and that's where the democrats have to show that they're the party with a heart here that is going to really answer the problems of the working folks, whereas the republicans are the party that is standing on the sidelines. >> well, clarence, let's look at the president. here he is today. let's watch the president for a second. then you're in here, charlie. >> it's time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to washington politics. it's time to do what's right. not for the next election, but for the middle class. we have to stop blocking emergency relief for american who are out of work. we've got to extend unemployment insurance. we need to pass tax cuts for small businesses and lending for small businesses. times are hard right now. we are moving in the right direction. i know it's getting close to an election, but there are times where you put elections aside. this is one of those times.
>> charlie, is he renew is his marriage vows with nancy pelosi here? is he making up for what gibbs said the other day about how the democrats may lose the house? >> well, i think the democrats are disillusioned. they're dis-spirited. there's a sense on one hand they need to be realistic and let democrats know, hey, we're in danger of losing everything. on the other hand, they do need to fire him up. you and clarence both talked to republican members of congress off the record all the time. if you ask them where did the republican party go wrong in the last decade, and most of the republicans would say we betrayed our principles, we gave up conservative principles, we spent too much. so they're sort of born again free conservatives in the sense they're saying now we need to drawing lines and we've got to draw lines immediately and starkly. that's what you heard for example from senator mcconnell
yesterday on "meet the press." is that will yeah, we misbehaved, we were bad. but we got to draw hard lines now. that's what they're doing. we'll see whether democrats can stick them with it. >> they still don't have the guts to say what they're going to cut. the republicans were asked, cornyn was asked and the other guy was asked, pete sessions was asked, name one program you're going to cut. again and again david tried to get an answer out of them. neither guy was going to talk. they love the argument of cutting government spending, but they won't name a single program they personally will put their name on cutting. thank you charlie cook, thank you clarence paige of the chicago tribune. coming up, the cap on the bp oil is still holding, which is good news. there are signs of seepage on the ocean floor, which could below the ocean, which could mean disaster is far from over. the latest on the oil spill from our expert when we return. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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in what states does president obama enjoy his highest approval ratings, and in which state does he have the lowest? first the states where he's highest. tied for fifth place, new york and connecticut where 57% approve the job the president is doing. at four, maryland. then delaware. home of the vice president. hawaii, where president obama was born and the district of columbia where 85% approve. we'll have the five states where president obama has the lowest approval numbers later in the hour. you can guess what they are by then. "hardball" back after this. no, it's just for new people. hey ! chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah but i'm new too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. at ally bank we treat all our customers fairly. with no teaser rates... ... and no minimum deposits. it's just the right thing to do.
john hofmeister is a former shell oil executive and author of "why we hate the oil companies." john, as always, i welcome your expertise. what do you make of these? keep it in civilian terms here. they're keeping the cap on. that's good news. what's the worry here? >> well, they're going to take it day by day, which is really important, because credibility and confidence i think are really critical to what the next steps might be. in the case of confidence, there are many people, including in the white house, including the department of energy, who doubt the integrity of the well casing, who believe that the well casing could well be ruptured or damaged in some respect, and that could cause leaks way down in the well where oil could be with the pressure cap on, could be working its way out of the casing, into the space between the well bore, which is where is the original hole was dug and the casing itself. it's not a lot of space, but that oil could be moving up into the geology above the earth,
where the break point is, and could be emerging somewhere as what we have heard about today, you know, the seepage. the possible seepage. so confidence is critical. leaving the cap on another day, take more tests, see if the pressure keeps rising. that's really what they're trying to do. >> well, we've all learned through weeks of this the real hope for ending this catastrophe is the relief well drilling that's going on right now. would this problem you're talking about, the possibility of basically internal bleeding, to use a human term, is that a danger to the operation of bringing up this relief well? >> depending upon where the leak might be, if there is a leak, yes, it could be a danger. it could be they somehow enter the casing and cement the casing shut, and that's shut down. but outside the casing in the perimeter where the well bore is that they get continued leakage. now, what they can try and do is
design the killing process, the relief well process, to try to cement both inside and outside the casing. that would be a little different than what their intentions have been, but i don't see any technical reason why they couldn't do that. >> does it matter whether the break in the pipeline, the well is above or below where they intersect it with the relief well operation? >> yeah, i think if the break is below and they cement outside the casing as well as inside the casing, that should bring it to a stop. and thaerkts of course, what they want to do. if for some reason the break is above, and they don't cement the outside of the well bore, then you could get continued leakage, seepage, above where they might have cemented the casing, and we could have a problem for a long time to come. >> boy, that's complicated. let me ask you about the possibility that this well is tapped out. that's the explanation of why there's lower pressure than expected.
>> well, you know, 6700, 6,800 pounds per square inch is still a lot of pressure. that's like -- imagine a square inch with 3.5 tons of pressure on it. that's a lot of pressure. it might have been as high as 25 or 30 psi. some people thought it was even higher. a well does reduce its pressure as time goes on. that's what causes wells to go into decline. so that's evidence that the well is in decline. but still, at that level of pressure, this is still a high pressure well. >> in civilian terms, again, and i appreciate you for using them, "the wall street journal" which has been doing great reporting on this by the way, it's the reporting part of the "wall street journal," not the crazy editorial page, but the reporting part of the "wall street journal" which is still sound as a dollar, i think, they're pointing out the fact of what went wrong here. what will did go wrong, based upon that, john, about the latest reporting? >> from the earliest moment when
i heard about this blowout, i immediately thought human factors. because the systems, the processes, the procedure, the equipment, the engineering, i mean, the industry has earned with credibility the right to drill in the gulf of mexico. 40,000 -- i'm sorry, 35,000 plus wells. 40 years of experience. none of this has happened before. so you immediately go to what could possibly have gone wrong. and you start thinking about bad judgments. or, as i said, in an op-ed many, many months ago, that the issue of communications, human to human communications. the issue of chain on command. chain of command on a drilling rig, these are critical success factors. if you don't have the open communications, the ability to resolve conflict amicably and come back for more conflict am i canbly, if you can't do that and have a proper chain of command and you've got somebody giving
orders that perhaps does not have the experience or the knowledge that exists, then you've got a real problem. it's like a village on that rig. >> is part of the problem that, as they said in politics years ago, i think it was ozzie myer who's got in trouble with whatever it was, abscam, he said money talks. could it be that the money coming down, the money issue from the top of the oil company said to the management, put the pressure on speed here, not safety? >> i think it depends on what is baked into the dna of the operators. if they have a safety management system, which has been taken on board, which is sacreligious to violate it, then money doesn't matter. there are any number of projects, chris, all over the world that go budget and beyond timing. and there's no problem with that other than hey, it cost more. it was delayed. but you don't jeopardize people's lives if you've got a safety management system that is intact, that is baked into the dna of the culture, the hearts and minds of the people on that rig.
that's if you have straight air res in the management division. >> thank you very much, john hoffmeister, as always. sarah palin says she's like shakespeare, she's able to make up new words. she's at ease with that. naerks the sideshow is coming up. this is an interesting topic. pick your side when we come back. maybe she's right. maybe she does have the power to create words like refudiate. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec,
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back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." well, first, sarah palin with her word of the day. on fox last week the ex-governor wacced the naacp for its resolution condemning racism within the tea party movement. listen to word she used. >> and the president and his wife, you know, the first lady spoke at naacp so recently, they have power in their words.
they could "refudiate" what it is that will this group is saying. wow, interesting word there, refudiate. by the way, that was not tina fey. on sunday, palin used the term again on twitter. about the mosque being built on the new york trade center site. she called upon peaceful muslims to "refudiate." after getting some teasing, she took down the post and later put up this one. refudiate, misunderestimate. wee weed up. those are examples she suggested of new words. english is a living language, she argued. shakespeare liked to coin new words, too. got to celebrate it. let's keep listening to her. maybe we'll get a clue. >> next, the tea party reaches its tipping point. it started when mark williams wrote a fictional letter in defense of slavery to president abraham lincoln.
these are his words. "we colored have taken a vote and decided we don't cotton that whole emancipation thing. freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves and take consequences along with rewards. that's far too much to ask of us colored people." williams call that had satire. people of the national tea party called it trouble. the sentiment continued today. the tea party nation, the group that hosted the big party convention down in nashville has just put out a statement saying they have zero tolerance, a zero tolerance policy against racism and they will ban any other member who's show themselves to be racists. okay, i'm going to wait to see one of those tea party pull down one of those racist signs at the next tea party rally. reach over, grab the sign and tear it out of the guy's hands. then i'll believe you. finally alvin greene makes his campaign debut. south carolina's come out of nowhere candidate gave his first speech as the democratic u.s. nominee yesterday. let's listen to his words.
>> let's get south carolina and america back to work. let's move south carolina and america forward. work from alvin, south carolina, let's get south carolina back to work from alvin, south carolina, to greenville, south carolina. lets reclaim our country from the terrorists and the communists. >> wow, that was mr. greene speaking. i don't get this whole thing. now for tonight's big number. how many americans know that it was president bush who enacted t.a.r.p., that $700 billion bank bailout? well, according to a new pew survey, just 4% of us. almost half, 47% think it was president obama who did it. just one-third of americans know president bush, his team engineered the big bank bailout. just 34%. tonight's not so big number. boy, is that important. up next, republicans say they're against government spending. why can't any of them say what programs they would cut if they were in charge? it happened again this weekend on "meet the press." we're going to try to get some answers out of republican
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. rockets reportedly rained down on the kabul airport a short while ago ahead of today's international conference on afghanistan's future. there were no injuries inside the compound but a civilian and a child were killed when a rocket fell short of the airport. officials say gas seepage on the seafloor near that capped well may have nothing to do with the well itself. it could be a natural phenomenon. a report in the "washington post" says the u.s. intelligence system has grown excessively large, expensive and unwieldy in the wake of 9/11. researchers say a new vaginal gel can reduce the risk of infection from the hiv/aids virus by as much as 50bers.
gas prices are on the rise after nearly a month of declines due to a spike in crude oil prices. and amazon says ebook sales are now out pacing print sales in the wake of a price cut on its kindle reader. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." what's the republican plan if they take back power in congress? do they have any real plans to cut spending? indiana congressman mike pence is the republican conference chairman. the number three leader in the house of representatives. congressman, thank you for joining us. i want you to listen to your colleagues, congressman pete sessions and senator john acornen. they were with david gregory on "meet the press" yesterday. let's listen to what they said. >> what painful choices are republicans prepared to make? are they going to campaign on repealing health care, for
instance, repealing financial legislation? would you like to see those two things done? >> first of all, we're going to balance the budget. >> how do you do it? name a painful choice that republicans are prepared to say we have to make. >> well, first of all, we need to make sure that as we look at all that we are spending in washington, d.c. with not only the entitlement spending but also the bigger government, we cannot afford anymore. we have to empower the free enterprise system. >> congressman, these are not specs. >> we need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system -- >> i'm not hearing an answer. what painful choices to really deal with the deficit, is social security on the table? >> well, the president has a debt commission that reports december 1st. my hope is he'll come back with a bipartisan solution to the debt and particularly entitlement reform as you mention. >> wait a minute. conservatives need a democrat president's debt commission to figure out what it is they want to cut? >> i say we need to do this on a
bipartisan basis. >> congressman pence, i'd like to follow-up on that. what are the republican plans? you have a good shot at taking back the house of representatives. do you have an agenda for balancing the budget? >> we sure do. different than democrats in congress this year. republicans passed a bill to -- a budget last year that 2003 reduce deficits by $5 trillion over ten years and reduce federal spending by $3 trillion. that was in the budget that we passed. we had a stimulus alternative that cost half as much as the president's and according to their economic analysis, it would have created twice as many jobs. we had alternatives on health care, alternatives on energy and as we go forward with the solutions that we've been offering, chris, those are going to be a big, big part of the conversation we have with the american people going forward. >> well the big problem as you know and i know, congressman and nobody wants to say what they want to cut. it's always alfonse and gaston.
you tell me. the republican party i grew up with was the party of fiscal responsibility. it seems your party could take the lead here and say what you want to cut. do you want to cut in the entitlements? where? medicare, social security, where in the discretionary domestic spending? where in defense, where in foreign aid? give me three or four or one or two big chunk ways to reduce a $1.6 trillion deficit. >> well, right. that's $1.6 trillion this year. it's the second year in a row the deficits have been over a trillion dollars. some of that i admit was inherited by the economic and the bailout policies of the last administration. but look, again, republicans went on the record last year. we committed to a ten-year budgeting thatting hadding it $3 trillion less in spending for my part, i've co-authored with jeb hensarling of texas a spending limit amendment to the constitution. getting spending under control begins with electing a party that wants to get spending under control.
since the democrats took control of the congress, chris, there's been an 84% increase in nondefense discretionary spending. the president wants to freeze it at that level. but that's freezing it at an 84% increase. we need to set goals. they need to be serious goals. then we need to be prepared to do the hard work on everything in this budget through fiscal restraint and reform to bring our federal budget within its means and within the means of the american people. >> i sympathize with you, congressman, but you're the party of fiscal responsibility. the people watching and listening right now on radio or television, listening now, where do you want to cut the federal budget? give me some programs you want to cut. >> well, look, i mean in the category of discretionary spending, i personally have associated myself with hundreds of billions of dollars of waistful programs, whether it be defense spending, intelligence spending, all of the security
issues or whether it be traditional discretionary spending or whether it be entitlement reform, republicans have really a long record of proposals that we've embraced over the years that we're prepared to move on. again, i think it all really begins with electing a majority in congress that wants to get federal spending under control. this president and this congress have us on a pathway for $1 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see. and the american people have had it, chris. they feel like washington is out of touch. they're not making the hard decisions. and as i said, republicans committed to a budget last year that would put $5 trillion less on the deficit. $3 trillion less in spending. and we're willing and ready if awarded with the ability to lead this congress again, we're willing to go to work on that and put the american people's money where our mouth is. >> but you know, that cartoon, you know we grew up with popeye. there was a character named wimpy. i'll gladly pay you on tuesday
for a hamburger today. you're asking for control of congress today on the promise, promissory note that you will come up with actual program cuts. now, i keep throwing out -- you know the biggest cause of the deficit. you're more rel read on this than i am. social security, medicare, medicate, you put all the federal receipts and taxes and they could be gone right there, exhausted in those three programs. we got defense systems you could name. but nobody wants to name what they want to cut by name. do they? isn't that fair to say on both parties? >> well, it may be fair towards some members of congress, but, again, i hasten to add republicans, and it is astonishing to me the democrat majority did not even try to pass a budget this year but last year republicans adopted a budget that had $3 trillion in spending cuts in it, and that would be cuts in discretionary spending, an and it also would be cuts through reforms of entitlements. i think, you know, it's all going on the table. i understand the politics of saying name this, name that program, but i can tell you,
take a look at the republican budget last year. republicans have been on the record about rolling back this runaway freight train of spending that frankly, began under the last republican administration has been put on steroids under this one. the american people want to get federal spending under control. we're ready do it. >> that's a good headline. the democrats are the republicans on steroids when it comes to spending. the president is pushing for the extension of unemployment benefits. the president is pushing and you're party is not willing to pay for it. what is going to happen to those unemployed people? what should happen to them? they're not going to get benefits. >> what should happen to them is we should extend unemployment benefits but we audit to pay for it, chris. >> what will you cut -- >> the stimulus bill. our alternative said take $34 billion in unspent stimulus funds. i mean, the american people know the stimulus has failed. why don't we take $34 billion
out of the stimulus funds that hasn't been spent and use that to pay to help american who are the victims of the failed policies of this and frankly, the previous administration. i mean this economy is struggling. the american people want us to get this economy moving again. we need to help people at the point of need. we just got to pay for it. when i'm home people are saying, for heaven's sake, we've got to see job creation. we've got to have economic policies that work. but we've also got to get spending under control. we can do that. take the unspent stimulus funds, $34 billion, provide that in unemployment benefits to americans that are hurting, and then let's try some new economic policies that will release the inherent power of this economy. >> right now it looks to me like we all look at this big ni aggra falls coming at the end of the year. at some point the congress will have to decide what to do with the bush tax cuts. especially for the upper income people. i know the very upper income people pay a lot of taxes. we know that. is it your party's position now, congressman pence, that you're
going to try to keep the bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, even at the time you're saying no extensive unemployment and even though both factors could lean toward a higher deficit? you're going to lean towards keeping tax cuts for the rich, but lean hard against extending unemployment benefits? you're comfortable fighting the next election on that line? keeping the bush tax cuts for the rich, avoiding extending unemployment benefits for the working poor. you're comfortable fighting on this election on that issue? >> i want to pay for unemployment benefits by making choices and. >> what about tax cuts. >> absolutely. let me be as clear as a bell on "hardball." house republicans are determined to fight and to oppose the largest tax increase in american history with everything we've got. i don't know anybody back in indiana, or anywhere across the country that thinks allowing the largest tax increase to take effect in january makes any sense in getting this economy moving again. >> okay. these are great rhetoric. and i understand the business
everybody is in. we're in journalism, too. we like behind up words too, but you use words like steroids, largest tax cuts in history. but the bottom line is your party position going into this election is no extensive unemployment benefits unless cuts are made elsewhere. yet, you will not stop -- in other words, you will continue the bush tax cuts for the very wealthy at the cost of a higher deficit. that's fair enough, isn't it? that's a fact. >> i don't know anybody who thinks they pay too little in taxes. i don't know anybody who thinks that by raising taxes in january. >> nobody does that. >> they're going to create jobs. come on, chris. >> you got me there. nobody wants to pay taxes. let me ask you this -- >> the administration may think that raising taxes in january is a pathway toward prosperity. but i would venture to guess almost every american knows you don't raise taxes during a recession. >> with a guy making $10 million a year is going to keep his tax cut. and the guy hoping to get his unemployment comp this week isn't going to get it because of
the republican leadership. i understand that's your position. what's the unemployment in many indiana right now, sir? >> it's banging right up to 10%. it's worse in some counties in my district. >> and you're willing to face it. it's 10% as of the last couple months. are you willing to face that unemployment rate and still say no to the people on unemployment comp? even though they paid into it? >> i am willing to stand up for every american to help americans at the point of need and also to say i want to be a part of leadership in washington, d.c. that is willing to make the hard choices to put a priority on some spending over others. look, the american people want to help people at the point in the need. they want to see us pursuing policies that will create jobs. but, chris, i got to tell you, maybe you can hear it on the west coast. back home in indiana at a county fair on friday night, all i heard about was when are you people going to get serious about getting spending under control? >> i think the unemployment rate is even worse out here. thank you very much. keep coming back to "hardball." congressman mike pence, number three republican leader in the house. up next, in the wake of the
september 11th attacks, the federal government built up the mass national security and intelligence bureaucracicracy. but did it make us safer? that's the problem. we're so complex. it's so difficult to manage. one has to wonder if we're getting the job done of protecting us and keeping us safe. we've got a huge story coming up here, thanks to dana priest who wrote the big story for "the washington post." she's coming here next. you have to hear this one. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. when i grow up, i want to fix up old houses. i'm going to work with kids. i want to run a marathon. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing.
i want to take him on his first flight. [ female announcer ] discover the best of what's next at aarp.org. earlier tonight, we told you the states where president obama has his highest approval ratings. well, now to the states where he has his lowest approval numbers. you can probably predict this. oklahoma's fifth worst at 37%. then a three-way tie at 34%, idaho, west virginia, and utah. and the state with the fewest people approve of the president, wyoming. where only 29% approve president obama. oddly enough, there's one state at the bottom ten in the bottom
ten where obama won in 2008. that's new hampshire where now only 41% approve of the job he's doing. i think it's the spending issue up there. republicans are hitting that one hard but unfortunately, unable to tell you where they're going to cut their spending. we'll be right back. it can happen anytime, when you least expect it... a regular moment can become romantic. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis. with two clinically proven dosing options, you can choose the moment that's right for you and your partner. 36-hour cialis and cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. >> tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. >> don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
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welcome back to "hardball." a new washington postinvestigation cast as lot of doubt on that. dana priest led "the washington post" investigation. welcome, dana. thank you. you're a heck of a reporter. here's the question. i think a lot of people want to bottom line this as you would want do as a journalist. 9/11, a well coordinated attack on the united states. would we be more likely to catch it with all this moving around of boxes and bureaucracy? >> well, simultaneous hit from airplanes, yeah, i don't think that's going to happen again. we've pretty much locked down
the airline industry and done a good job there. but this report really is not about that. it talks about how big the whole system has grown and we found there's over 2,000 corporations that work for it, and 1300 government organizations working at the top secret level. when we started to do this we started looking at the secret level and there were too many organizations there to actually even hope to track. so we went up to top secret because that was a smaller universe. still we found 850,000 people who have top secret clearances. and maybe the most disturbing thing to me as a reporter with some decent sources in the government is just how many senior officials said we don't really know how many people are employed here, we don't know how much the system costs and it's become so unwieldy that we can't determine whether it's effective and we can't determine whether it's making us safer. so that was really the bottom line. that there's a atlantic information that's become so big that it's in some sense has overwhelmed the progress that's
been made in other areas like information sharing. >> well, when we had the christmas bomber, we had information coming from the father of the suspect who said my son's on the warpath. he's come together united states. we had simultaneous information from yemen that something was up in that area and nobody put the dots together. what has your reporting told us about dot connection? >> that's a perfect example of how the largeness of the system has overwhelmed some of the progress because really, it's become so big that it's blurred the lines of responsibility where people aren't sure whether they're the ones that are responsible for getting to the very bottom of a tip. we had this new national counter-terrorism center that was created where thousands of people work. it costs billions to set up. it was supposed to be the premier organization do that, and yet on this intercept what happened was they didn't run the tips to ground and what happened after that when they admitted they had a problem was they asked for more analysts, more air marshals and more money.
that's always been the solution for a problem is to throw more and more and more money at it. as director of the cia, leon panetta and secretary of defense robert gates tell us, that more is not always enough. that more is -- it really is too much at this time with deficits and with the recession that they all expect that they're going to be having to cut back. so they're going to go review their programs and look to see where it's most sensible to do that. but we found incredible overlap and redundancy, organizations doing the same sort of thing. >> you're president of the united states and you have a problem. you read something in the paper that scares you about something happening somewhere in yemen or somalia. you're worried about what's happening in uganda. who do you call and have a serious chat with and really learn something from? is it leon panetta, is it the national director? who is the president's guy or woman on this thing? >> well, i think if it's
overseas you probably call the cia director and the national security agency director. you don't call the dni, the director of national intelligence unless you want to wait a little while to get them to call the cia and them to call the national security agency and really get it together. that system is not quite working as i think a lot of americans think that it should be. put one guy on top. he's in charge. it's not really working that way. >> got to go. dana priest, congratulations on a big piece of journalism and a lot to absorb now. when we return, let me finish with some thoughts about why they can't say what programs they'd cut even as they grumble appropriately about government spending, tell us what to cut, put your neck on the line. they're not doing it. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. the start. we have a great loyalty program. i'm listening. stick with us, and you keep earning bigger discounts and benefits like accident forgiveness. plus, it's free. wow! great. now let's get you initiated into the program. what is that?
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let me finish tonight with something my colleague david gregory started yesterday. on "meet the press," he pressed the top republican campaigners, senator john cornyn and congressman pete sessions on government spending. so what are you going to cut? i love that question. here's gregory calling their bluff. you hear bashing the other side for spending too much. you say you want to cut spending, okay senator, and congressman. you're the two the folks out there raising money for republicans to take over the congress out there hitting the democrats for not cutting back on spending blasting that deficit this year. okay now, show me your cuts. nada. cornyn and sessions had no plan
to cut the deficit, no cuts. nothing. i'm not surprised just depressed. how many years have we put up with this. okay from both sides. but republicans used to be the party of fiscal responsibility. you know, cash and carry, not buying something you can't afford. that was when the party was based in the midwest heartland when republicans thought like farmers and small business folk. they knew the price of things and haggled over price and squeezed the budget both at the store and at the kitchen table so they could stay out of debt. that was the party of bob taft and gerry ford and later bob dole and it's gone. gone. what's left is the party of supplyside, see you later budgeting, dynamic score keeping and all the rest. ronald reagan started this with his promise to cut the deficit by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse" from government spending. that was a smoke screen for "i'm not going to tell you what i want to cut because you'll kill me for it. watch cornyn and sessions scramble to find the rhetorical ploy. it won't be i'll gladly pay you on tuesday for a h